29.9.09

HAPPY PILLS

If there was a pill which erased all of your
bad memories and embarrassing
moments, would you take it?

A memory-cleansing drug that has the ability to
remove any recollection of unhappy incidents
could be developed by scientists.

The possibility of a memory drug for human
consumption has been raised following successful
animal trials by
Andreas Lüthi, of the Friedrich
Miescher Institute in Switzerland.


If manufactured, a pill that selectively wipes memory
would mimic the plot of the Oscar-winning film

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, in which
Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey use a pill to erase
memories of their soured love affair.


During the latest research, animals had been given
a drug that dissolves a barrier around the amygdala
- the almond-shaped organ in the brain where
mammals store their memories of fear.


It was found that after receiving treatment, laboratory
animals stopped being scared of sounds associated
with electric shocks, indicating the memories had
been erased.
Humans share the same organ in
the brain and scientists have argued that
the drug could work on patients.


Although the prospect of a drug to wipe out
troubling memories is attractive to many, for
others it raises medical and
ethical questions.


Would I do it? Yep. I've got plenty of
embarrassing
moments I'd quite
happily forget about!




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